Theron only new cap in SA squad

2010-04-01 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — Paceman Juan “Rusty” Theron is the only new cap included in South Africa’s 15-man squad, while Graeme Smith was confirmed as captain yesterday for the Twenty20 World Cup starting in the West Indies this month.

Smith, whose participation was in doubt due to a fractured finger, will return to captain the side in the April 30 to May 16 tournament, coach Corrie van Zyl said.

Van Zyl added that the 24-year-old Theron earned his place after impressive performances for Punjab in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and for the Eastern Cape Warriors, who won the Twenty20 and limited-overs titles in the South African domestic season.

“One of the things successful teams in the World T20 are going to have to do is restrict teams in the last four overs, and that’s one of Rusty’s fortes,” Van Zyl said.

“He has won games for the Warriors purely because of his last and second-last overs, and we need that type of bowler. He executes those skills best and he has shown in his elevation to the IPL that his mental strength and cricket awareness is very good too.”

All-rounder Rory Kleinveldt, whose only previous T20 appearance for South Africa was against Bangladesh in 2008, has been called up as a replacement for the injured Wayne Parnell.

“Wayne is able to bowl both with the new ball and at the death and his injury meant we had to find a like-for-like replacement,” said Van Zyl.

“If you look at when Kleinveldt has bowled for the Western Cape Cobras, it is with the new ball and at the death, so his economy rate of 7.2 is actually pretty good.

“His principal job is as a bowler, but if he comes in at number eight, he is able to hit his first ball out of the ground for six, which is what we want down there.”

Left-handed batsman JP Duminy has been included, despite going through a slump in form, which has meant he has yet to make an IPL appearance for the Mumbai Indians.

“He is such a talent, we all back his ability and one score is all he needs to get past his poor run and get it all back,” said Van Zyl. “The challenge is to get him ready and I’ll even go over there [to India] and work with him if necessary.” SQUAD: Graeme Smith (capt.), Jacques Kallis, Loots Bosman, Johan Botha, Mark Boucher, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Herschelle Gibbs, Rory Kleinveldt, Charl Langeveldt, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn, Juan Theron, Roelof van der Merwe.

— Reuters.

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